Adam Schiff in January 6 Capitol Riot

On Government Reform: Congress responsible for allowing new authoritarianism

The actions of our government, like the broader sweep of history, are not taken on their own; they are not the product of impersonal forces operating without human actors and agency. We made Donald Trump possible. We the voters, yes, but we in Congress even more so. He would not have been able to batter and break so many of our democratic norms had we not let him, had we not been capable of endless rationalization, had we not forgotten why we came to office in the first place.

Midnight is the darkest moment of the day everywhere in the world. But it is also the most hopeful, because everything that comes after holds the promise of light. America has a genius for reinvention, and we must use it. From the same forces of bigotry that divided and nearly defeated us in the Civil War, yes, but from something new to the American landscape as well: a dangerous experimentation with a uniquely American brand of authoritarianism.

Source: Midnight in Washington,by Adam Schiff,p. xv-xvi, (on Jan. 6) Oct 12, 2021

On Principles & Values: Wore gas mask in Congress when tear gas deployed on Jan. 6

[On preparing to deploy tear-gas on Jan. 6]: "Please grab a mask!" a Capitol Police officer shouted from the well of the House floor. I still wasn't sure what was happening outside the chamber and whether we were at serious risk. There were rioters in the building--how many of them, or how great a threat they posed, it was impossible to tell.

Sensing our confusion, the officer continued: "Be prepared to don your mask in the event the room is breached." He told us that tear gas was being deployed, so we should get them ready. I pulled a rectangular canvas pouch from under my seat and unzipped it. These hoods didn't resemble the gas masks you see police wearing during a riot; instead, they were a large polyethylene bag that you pulled over your head, with a small motor attached to circulate and filter the air. As you removed the hood from its packaging, the motor began running, and suddenly there was a din of dozens of these hoods buzzing, which only added to the growing sense of alarm.

Source: Midnight in Washington, by Adam Schiff, p. 3, (on Jan. 6) Oct 12, 2021

On Principles & Values: As impeachment leader, Felt targeted by January 6 rioters

[Upon rioters entering Congress on Jan. 6]: Just then came a tremendous thud--something had been thrust against the doors not twenty yards away from me, battering them. Thud. A moment later, again: thud. "You need to get out!" a police officer shouted. "Move!"

"You can't let them see you," a Republican member said to me. "He's right," another Republican member said. "I know these people, I can talk to them, I can talk my way through them. You're in a whole different category." In that moment, we were not merely members of different political parties, but on opposite sides of a much more dangerous divide. At first I was oddly touched by these GOP members and their evident concern. But by then, I had been receiving death threats for years, and that feeling soon gave way to another: If these Republican members hadn't joined the president in falsely attacking me for 4 years, I wouldn't need to be worried about my security, none of us would. I kept that thought to myself.

Source: Midnight in Washington, by Adam Schiff, p. 6, (on Jan. 6) Oct 12, 2021

The above quotations are from January 6, 2021 riot at United States Capitol and follow-up investigations.
Click here for other excerpts from January 6, 2021 riot at United States Capitol and follow-up investigations.
Click here for other excerpts by Adam Schiff.
Click here for a profile of Adam Schiff.
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 17, 2022